ATLUS Sues Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online Revival Project Owners for $25,000

Ule Lopez
ATLUS Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online Revival

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online was an MMORPG that was part of the iconic SMT series. The game was released in 2008 and lasted for 9 years until its closure on May 24, 2016. After the untimely demise of the MMO, a fan-driven project known as ReImagine popped up, resurrecting the game. Unfortunately, it seems like ATLUS doesn't like this project one bit.

So, why is this? Well, as spotted by @MarshSMT, ATLUS launched a lawsuit against the creators of the ReImagine project. The lawsuit states that this project has "caused and will continue to cause irreparable damage to ATLUS unless restrained by [the New York District Court]." According to the suit, the company is now seeking to shut down ReImagine and receive $25,000 damages per DMCA violation.

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So far, the company has succeeded at least on the former objective, as in a statement made by the owners of the project over on the ReImagine discord, it was revealed that the game would be shut down. The server and website for the Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online revival project have both been brought down. You can see a screenshot of the statement below:

And yes, don't mistake the wording here, they went straight for a lawsuit instead of filing a DMCA takedown. Unfortunately, this also brings up negative ramifications for game preservation on its own because ATLUS winning the lawsuit could open up the way for more lawsuits to come against other MMO revival projects.

Now, it's important also to note that there is some additional semantics to consider here. For one, the lawsuit isn't going against the ReImagine project itself, it's going after its creators due to the creation of an identical website to the original Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online site with their own copyright included. We'll report on this case as more details come to light.

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